Joff Wild at the IAM Blog http://www.iam-magazine.com/Blog/Detail.aspx?g=62e97da6-3b56-48a0-a853-044df49b0276 is reporting that the Nortel patent portfolio is up for sale. I’ve added a comment about the price and some conjecture on who might be the bidders but after an hour and a half of sweaty yoga I reckon there are others to consider.
Here is my comment, Joff’s still to approve it.
“It’s an interesting question as to what these are worth. The bigger question I’d be asking though is to whom are they worth most.
Take Qualcomm. As I understand a key part of Qualcomm’s IP strategy they want to be dominant in LTE and the portfolio contains a number of LTE essential patents. But $1.1bn or anything approaching this represents a giant gamble for Qualcomm as you’d have to show a potential RoI several times that, and several years out so any NPV calculation becomes interesting. So although maybe one of the natural acquirers, its a giant swallow for Qualcomm.
Go to Nokia. Personally I can’t see the Head of IP at Nokia, albeit they have made a lot of money in 2 and 3G eIPR licensing, being able to persuade his CEO that $1.1bn now with an ROI several years out, and speculative, being justifiable. Nokia’s focus is elsewhere too, focused on catching up Apple and its next gen of smartphones.
Who else could even play at this level? All of the NEMs have pretty much exited 2 and 3G licensing. Philips are out of comms as are Alcatel-Lucent out of an active licensing program. Samsung could, just could at a stretch play. I hear that the Korean government has a state sponsored IP M&A fund–but again these are massive numbers.
The Chinese, Huawei. Hmmm. No real licensing expertise. Possible.
Scarily, IV might become an option as might Coller. I doubt they’d want it all but eIPR in the hands of NPEs would be of high high value. eIPRs have an odd financial dynamic in Standards world as IPcom have shown with their use of the Bosch portfolio to sue Nokia.
Break up might just about be the best option you know. With selective sales to 2-3 NPEs. Good for shareholders/creditors, bad for the telecoms market though adding another layer of licensing cost into an already complicated value web.
Intriguing….though I’ll wager an awful lot of money that the sale price won’t get anywhere near $1bn.”
I’ve had a few other overnight thoughts on likely bidders—nothing like Bikram Yoga to stimulate the brain and body. For the record mine looks absolutely nothing like this…in fact I’m pretty sure this is not one of the 36 postures I’ve ever done in Bikram.